Marriott Hotel Shames Air India Crew for Stealing From Buffet

Air India crew apparently stay at the Renaissance London Heathrow after arriving from Delhi or Mumbai. And they’re hungry enough in the morning to fill up boxes off the buffet on your way out from breakfast.

Air India Boeing 787

The hotel has had enough, they reached out to the airline to complain, and the airline has sent a memo to crew.

[A} hotel in London complained that some cabin crew members would bring boxes to pack and take away food from the breakfast buffet table to be eaten later.

Titled, ‘A buffet is not a takeaway’, the warning note was sent on Monday by an assistant general manager (AGM) of the in-flight service department. It said: “We have received an unfortunate email from the management of hotel in London stating that some AI crew members regularly come down for breakfast with empty boxes into which they fill food items from the buffet, presumably to eat later.”

Market Garden Restaurant, Credit: Renaissance London Heathrow

Air India threatens any crew continuing to do this with discipline, including no longer being scheduled on international flights “as we have no desire to allow the reputation of Air India to be tarnished.”

It’s an important reputation to protect, being Global and all.

Meanwhile some crew excuse the behavior, explaining that they’re poorly paid, room service is expensive, and London proper is too far to go to get a good meal.

“We land in London either at 7.30am or 6.30pm. We are dead tired by then as it’s 14-15 hours from the time we have left home. So we just want to crash. Unlike earlier when the layover was 2 days, it’s now only 26 hours and so we have to catch up on sleep before the next flight. …

The Crew works on multiple time zones, and thus their body cannot consume enough food during any mealtime as a normal people can.

…”It’s the worst for cabin crew who have been taken on contract as they are paid 60% less than the regular crew. The layover allowance is meagre and ranges from $600-1200 per month during which time we do at least ten layovers,”

Well, that and they probably don’t want to eat the inflight meal.

(HT: Point Me to the Plane)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. does anyone notice the commercial that only the white guy was being taken care of and not the Indian guy next to him, hence the subject of this hotel complaint, if it was a Caucasian crew from other airlines, this would never be an issue

  2. really typical English snobbery

    who the f cares if they do that?

    Some LHR hotel should use this as an opportunity to snatch this business

  3. the title should be: “Air India Crew Shamed Themselves and Airline By Stealing Food from Hotel Buffet.”
    the problem with this country’s mindset: no attention is paid to the offender, but the victim is closely scrutinized and stoned just to be politically correct.

  4. “This reporting is written with a strong negative bias against Indians. I am an Indian, and my wife is Korean, and we actively teach our children never to waste resources, especially food.”

    Buffets are not takeaways. Period. It’s about class, and someone who thinks they are *entitled* to help themselves to something so they can avoid paying for another meal later on… is lacking in it.

    It’s one thing to take a granola bar and banana when walking out the door of the breakfast buffet… it’s quite simply another to load up boxes so you don’t have to open your wallet, cheapskate.

    The story is about Indians, in this case, Air India employees. Give it a rest with the OMG GARY U R A RACIST baloney.

  5. Maybe this Marriott should hire a big, stern Pakistani fellow to monitor their buffet in the mornings? 🙂

    Taking a few (2 or 3) pieces of fruit, food bars or yogurt cups, etc. to go is fine, but filling up and carting off entire containers of food for a later meal is pushing it.

  6. “This reporting is written with a strong negative bias against Indians.”

    What you are talking!!

    Air India offer many loose motions to crew if they do not do the needful only

  7. I always find these comments odd when discussing buffets and lounges etc:

    “It’s ok to take [insert what I always take] but not to take [more than that]”.

    Whether or not it’s ok to take anything at all, it’s absolutely ridiculous to think that your own personal moral line on a subject sets the standard for the entire human race. Would you walk into a shop and take a granola bar and a banana, walking out without paying?

    P.S. I’m personally fine with people taking stuff from buffets. However I don’t get to set the parameters for others, only the management of the establishment gets to do that.

  8. @Gul
    “I travel a lot with my family, including 2 small girls. We travel well and target premium properties that are family friendly, i.e., dining facilities, lounge access, etc… We have our breakfast and also ‘stock-up’ with snacks for the rest of the day from the breakfast buffet table – children get hungry throughout the day. We do always inform staff what our intentions are, and most often, they indeed provide us with take-away containers.”

    What a cheapskate. “Stock up” = theft and you are OK with bringing your daughters up like this?

    And quit with the race card, stealing from lounges is not the prerogative of one race or nationality.

    I’m surprised you don’t use your own take away containers, but then you would have to pay for those wouldn’t you!

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